Friday, January 30, 2009

Utter Embarrassment

The way the Terps have been playing lately is an embarrassment. The rout by Duke and the second quarter collapses have been terrible to watch. But all of that pales in comparison to the athletic department squabbles. The rumors of difference between Gary Williams and Debbie Yow have been circulating for a while. But they were pushed into the spotlight this week. Articles in the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun highlighted the growing rifts between the AD and Gary. One of the Assistant ADs, Worthington, basically blamed Gary for all the problems, especially the recruiting.

I'm not sure how an athletic department is supposed to work, but I'm pretty sure that unless you are really ready to fire you're coach you should be supporting him up until the last possible second. The news of the infighting was even a headline on ESPN the other day. People who knew very little about the situation, but know I'm a huge Maryland fan, were asking me what the deal was with all of it. And many people pointed out the ESPN article to me. It's not enough that the program is suffering, the team can't win, and we have a giant hole on the roster where a big man should be. Now we have a very public fight between two people who should be trying to help the program get better. Not trying to bring more shame onto it.

This whole situation makes me feel really bad for Gary. He obviously doesn't have the support of the AD. Or maybe her assistant spoke out of turn. Yow is in North Carolina for the funeral of her sister this week. Maybe she didn't know about this public fight until it had already began. But somehow I doubt this. Rumors have been circulating for far too long for this to just be a rough assistant's comments Either ways, there's no way that Gary can successfully run a program without that support. I know he's made some mistakes but this is only making him more sympathetic in my eyes. I've been calling for his head for a while, but now I'm starting to think he was just trying to do the right thing and maybe its Debbie Yow that should go. Maybe Gary is trying to change and get better. Plus Gary does have all those big donors so he's probably not going anywhere. Might as well make the situation better any way they can.

But Yow has helped all those other coaches win all those national championships in sports like field hockey, soccer, and competitive cheer. It's a tough call. Wait, no its not, Maryland is a basketball school, and that should come first, before football or anything else. And if they do somehow manage to find the money to buy out Gary, who would want to step in and take his place. No one if it means being thrown under the bus by the AD the moment things start going bad.

Overall, I'm more embarrassed by this behavior than the 41 point loss to Duke. Our program can recover from a bad year with some really bad losses; however, it will take a lot longer to recover from the vicious infighting and public disgrace. Work it out behind closed doors people.

On a Side Note:
Any time a coaching change is made in a program so important to the success of the ACC, it can be seen as a tremendous gamble.
If you indulge in online sports betting the gamble you take is greater still.
Remember to wager only what you can afford to lose. Have fun, but be smart about it. Know your limits.


Scott said...

I was at the Miami game on Saturday. Pretty solid compared to the past few games.

One thing that was impossible to miss was the students' support for Gary. Between his larger than normal entrance (met with a larger normal cheer) and the "we love Gary" chants after the game, it was a nice display from the students. And it was great to finally get a win. It was a win we all needed.